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In 1951 star Larry Parks was among the first Hollywood personalities to admit that he had been a member of the Communist Party, in testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee. He was subsequently among those blacklisted in Hollywood, and the release of this film was delayed as a result. See more »
I just saw this film this morning on Turner Movie Classics, and was actually very surprised. The film is certainly pleasant to watch, and some of it is actually funny and very appealing. The two stars merit comment. Larry Parks, of course, turned out to be a truly tragic figure in Hollywood, and he was virtually decimated by the Hollywood black list in the 1950's. As the head reviewer on this page said, Parks would probably have evolved into an excellent character actor had his career not been destroyed (his wife, actress Betty Garrett, herself said in an interview that Park's life was ruined by the Hollywood blacklisting. To our country's shame, many others shared the same fate. In this film, he is convincing and moderately successful, but opposite Elizabeth Taylor, one would have expected a more handsome leading man. Elizabeth Taylor, at age 20, is, of course, drop-dead gorgeous, but more importantly, she exudes an appeal and demeanor that is altogether winning. She had this same quality in such films as "The Last Time I Saw Paris", "Father of the Bride", and "Giant". Then she entered her most intense period with the films that brought her Oscar nominations (as well as two Oscars). It's a shame that after "Virginia Woolf", her second Oscar-winning performance, she essentially kept repeating the same loudmouthed strident type of demeanor. She was never able to regain the vulnerability and tenderness that she so beautifully demonstrated during the early and middle 1950's. Of course her much publicized personal life played a major part. In essence, she became a parody of herself in the late 1960's and never recovered. Whatever the case, "Love is Better than Ever" is worth watching for the light entertainment, the uniqueness of Larry Parks, and above all, for the charm and sweetness Elizabeth Taylor brought to the screen at this stage of her career.
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